UK heatwave warning for deadly melanoma skin cancer — five red flags

Dr Amir gives tips on how to stay safe during UK heatwave

As warm air moves across the UK, with temperatures peaking mid-week around 32C, there is a risk of developing skin cancer.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Mark Sidaway elaborated on the heatwave currently occurring across the UK.

Chief Meteorologist Sidaway said: “High pressure is situated to the southeast of the UK, which is bringing more settled conditions with temperatures on the rise through the first half of this week.”

Sidaway added: “While the highest temperatures are expected in the south, heatwave conditions are likely across much of England and Wales.

“Parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland [are] also likely to see some unseasonably high temperatures.”

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Sidaway explained: “An active tropical cyclone season in the North Atlantic is helping to amplify the pattern across the North Atlantic, and has pushed the jet stream well to the north of the UK, allowing some very warm air to be drawn north.”

The Skin Cancer Foundation said the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays cause cancers of the skin.

Any area of skin exposed to the sun is at risk of developing abnormal cancerous lesions, including the ears.

“Understanding UV radiation and how it damages your skin is an important first step in safeguarding yourself against skin cancer,” the charity says.

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Unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays damages the DNA in skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer and premature ageing.

Developing a sunburn is a “proven” way to hike the risk of developing melanoma, a very dangerous type of skin cancer.

Melanomas can be spotted using the ABCDEs checklist and the “Ugly Duckling” sign.

Look for lesions using the ABCDEs checklist:

  • A is for Asymmetry
  • B is for Border
  • C is for Color
  • D is for Diameter or Dark
  • E is for Evolving.

Any lesion that is asymmetrical, has an uneven border (scalloped or notched edges), or has multiple colours should be checked out by your doctor.

Also report a lesion that is more than 6mm ins size, or a lesion that is changing its appearance.

How to spot an “Ugly Duckling”?

The charity explained: “This recognition strategy is based on the concept that most normal moles on your body resemble one another, while melanomas stand out like ugly ducklings in comparison.”

Having an annual check-up by a dermatologist is a key way to spot any melanomas early.

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